Everyone knows you don’t bother a woman with PMS, especially one carrying a sharp object, but in Blood Night people do just that. We meet young Mary Hatchet in her bedroom one evening much like we meet the young Michael Myers – and while comparisons have in fact been made to Halloween, I’d say this one resembles the grimy-looking remakes more closely. Everything about Mary seems normal until the arrival of her first period which seems to have brought on less of the women’s problems and more of the homicidal tendencies.
One night little Mary kills her mother and father with a pair of scissors and an axe. Once apprehended she is sent to an asylum where she spends the rest of her childhood and is then subjected to a series of sexual assaults by a member of staff. She becomes pregnant and after losing the baby during childbirth she snaps, again, this time going on a bloody killing spree throughout the hospital. Covered in blood and completely naked, which she is throughout the entire film in fact, Mary calmly walks down the road with another severed head covering her modesty. She is killed by police and from then on the local teenagers christen that night Blood Night. Cue dramatic and scary music! Twenty years later a new set of teenagers are preparing for the next Blood Night and they start dropping like flies.
Set firstly in the early 1970’s, ‘80’s and later on in 2002, Blood Night certainly does a good job of recreating those eras without it feeling like you’re witnessing a retro fancy dress party. A slightly new take on the teen slasher sub-genre, it makes a pleasant change to see teenagers celebrating the anniversary of the death of a killer in such a derogatory way. They march the streets with Mary masks, smearing sanitary towels with fake blood and defacing her gravestone. Such is the bravery that comes from taunting the dead when you think they can’t come back, it makes her return for revenge all the more satisfying.
Bill Moseley’s portrayal of Graveyard Gus, the obligatory adult who tells the scary foreboding stories and who seems to know a bit too much about everything, is the shining light in this piece. I’m all for blood and guts in my horror, but if you’ve seen one brain splatter to the floor in a comedy fashion you’ve seen them all, and you really did see them all here. I did enjoy the scene where a girl’s intestines were being slowly pulled out with a pickaxe though, and when another girl gets covered in blood and guts like someone had just thrown them at her from a bucket. (They probably had.)
So the vengeful ghost of a naked, axe wielding protagonist who says nothing but the occasional scream sounds pretty good. It could’ve been too if it was just a bit shorter, if the effects were better executed and if the actors didn’t look so bored. Bill Moseley is the best part in a film that is at times almost inspired, but never quite surpasses the B movie quality it ultimately is. And that would be fine if it wasn’t desperately trying to be something more.